This afternoon some friends phoned me from Killlerton , our local National Trust house, to say that if I could get Veronica there , they would push her round the house and gardens which were looking spectacular with Christmas lights and decorations . To my surprise Veronica said she would like to go so I bundled her into her coat with a distinct lack of finesse and the kind PH Fairy (post hernia) threw the wheelchair in the back of the car and we set off .As we drove up the avenue leading to the house which is more of a country gentleman's estate than stately home ,I could see it was lined with large toy wooden soldiers each holding a lantern and from the trees hung giant christmas baubles in a multitude of colours . Some of the larger trees had been under-lit in red green and purple making their stark silhouettes in the upper branches stand out against the late afternoon sky .Outside the front entrance stood three magnificent christmas trees covered in lights showing us promise of things to come . Inside the whole house had been decorated in the theme of the Nutcracker Ballet .It was magical - every archway was festooned with translucent fabric interwoven with greenery and silver sprays of twigs from which hung a myriad of christmas decorations . In every room was a christmas tree decorated in accordance with the story and dripping with an opulence which quite took my breath away . Mantlepieces were adorned with swags and hidden gems. As we walked through gazing in a kind of awe-struck wonder at the richness of it all ,we could hear the strains of carols coming from the music room where we found a choir resplendent in their scarlet cassocks singing to a captivated audience in a room which was as decorated if not more so as all the others we had passed through . We stayed and listened to carols old and new and I could see Veronica 's obvious delight at her surroundings and we sang along with our favourites together. And I wondered if we would ever do it again and I am not ashamed to say I shed a silent tear .
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